We’ve all seen it: some confrontation, somebody angrily thrusts themselves into their carmobile, puts that bitch in D like they’re opening the gates of Asgard, departs with a ferocious tire chirp. Pro tip: this is not expressing your emotions, it’s making you look like an asshole.

I’m well aware this is no new issue. People have been flinging objects around with rage since humans started dwelling together! Probably. But using your car as a punching pillow has got to stop, folks. It’s wasteful and it’s really pretty dangerous so cut it out already.

Tunnel vision

When you’re mad, you’ve got a lot of adrenaline pumping and a lot of focus. But that attention is dialed in on whatever’s set you off; not the traffic or lanes or lights. You’re running the controls to your car the same way you assault a piñata; best case scenario you look like a fool without cracking somebody’s skull open.

Undirected aggression with a big scary outlet

So you’re removing yourself from an emotionally incendiary situation. Ugh. So mad. Just wanna kick rocks! When there’s a gas pedal instead, you mash your toe-fist into that and suddenly you’re pushing your econocar on half-worn tires well beyond its comfort zone while you left your best-day driving abilities with that pathetic little one-wheel patch of rubber three stoplights back.

Feeding your adrenaline

Since we’re trying to maintain a civil society here, “calming down” should be among your top priorities when you start wanting to rip shirts and turn green. Think puppies and yoga and ice cream to reintegrate yourself with the rest of us. Blazing down the street at full-tilt is only gonna get you more amped up in all the wrong ways.

You’re not you when you’re angry

Emotions cloud judgement, but you have to be pretty manic to completely abandon your sense of right and wrong. You know you shouldn’t drive drunk... start putting rage into the same category. Luckily unlike a good buzz, you can probably calm yourself down with a few deep breaths and a swig of– ah crap we’re getting into a circular logic situation.

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But seriously; make a conscious decision to realize how big of a risk you’re running by peeling out of parking lots and slamming your brakes just because McDiddy’s wouldn’t sell you a breakfast sandwich at 4PM.

You’re just proving whoever pissed you off right

When you storm off in a big blaze of low-horsepower tire straining, “there goes an intelligent, reasonable individual I should listen to” is something no one has ever said.

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Has angrily exiting a parking lot ever improved the outcome of a conflict for you?

“But it f33ls so guud to M4SH pedALS!” I hear you saying. In your most grotesque RCR guy voice.

At the very least, if you can’t be realize the inherent danger of driving hard to look hard, just think of everybody you’ve ever seen driving with white-knuckle fists of rage and remember what kind of impression they gave you. Let me be the one to break it down: that angry baboon you’re picturing is exactly what everyone else sees when you drive angry.

Anger is part of the human experience, I’m not asking you to repress rage so you can lose your mind and join a militia. Just be aware of the power it can have over your rationale... and what a booger-eating bumpkin you look like when being upset guides your driving style.

So the next time you’re about to release your personal issues on your tires or fellow motorists on a public road, don’t. Calm down before you drive or deport yourself to the moon because you’re making a-holes out of all of us when you go around almost running people over or dishing out head-butts with your motorcycle helmet on.


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.